Butler soccer takes top spot in NSCAA Division I poll

Butler soccer takes top spot in NSCAA Division I poll

For the second time in program history, Butler soccer is atop the NSCAA Division I rankings.

The Grizzlies, who held steady in the runner-up position for the last five weeks, moved into a tie for the top spot with Paradise Valley (Ariz). after top-ranked Eastern Florida State suffered two losses this past week.

Tyler (Texas) and Laramie County (Wyo.) also tied for third in this week's rankings, while Iowa Western is ranked fifth. Butler is 4-1 against NSCAA-ranked teams, with two wins against No. 20 Johnson County and victories over No. 3 Tyler and No. 9 Navarro (Texas).

Butler previously held the top spot in the NSCAA rankings for one week back in 2012 (Sept. 11-17). The Grizzlies have finished in the NSCAA top 10 each of the last five seasons, including a final No. 3 ranking last season.

Since opening the season with one-goal losses at Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa and Eastern Florida State, Butler (15-2-0 overall, 10-0-0 conference) has reeled off 15 straight wins and recently won the Jayhawk Conference East Division.

The Grizzlies set a school record Sunday with their 21st straight win at home and tied the record for most consecutive shutouts (six) before giving up a goal in a 3-1 road win at Johnson County on Wednesday. Butler has allowed just 16 goals this season, with only two in the last nine contests.

Butler has been led offensively by sophomore forwards Colleen Howland (20 goals, 11 assists, 51 points) and Lauren Allan (20 goals, six assists, 46 points). Sophomore goalkeeper Jami Reichenberger has been the mainstay in goal, going 14-2-0 overall with a 0.98 goals against average and three complete shutouts in 16 games.

Butler finishes out its regular-season conference schedule this weekend, beginning with a road match at Cowley on Friday at 5:30 p.m. The Grizzlies will return home for a Sunday contest against Neosho County, with the kickoff at 7:00 p.m.